An Osun State High Court in Osogbo on Tuesday ordered the Nigerian Correctional Services to produce Raheem Adedoyin, owner of Hilton Hotels, Ile-Ife, Osun State, accused of murdering one Timothy Adegoke, an Obafemi Awolowo University postgraduate student, in court on November 7, 2022.
There are six other defendants standing trial in the murder case brought against Adedoyin by the State Government.
They are Magdalene Chiefuna, Adeniyi Aderogba, Oluwole Florence, Oyetunde Kazeem, Adebayo Kunle and Adedeji Adesola.
Justice Adepele Ojo, who delivered the ruling, said Adedoyin should be brought to court to stand trial in spite of the time constraints in the case being heard.
Ojo said she would either grant some defendants bail and allow Adedoyin to face the murder case or transfer the case file, if the Nigerian Correctional Services refused to bring him.
The judge decried the time wasted in concluding the case on account of Adedoyin’s absence in court on two occasions, reportedly on health grounds.
She urged the NCS to ensure the presence of the defendant on the next date of adjournment, adding that his presence for trial had become sacrosanct.
She also demanded that a medical report over Adedoyin’s ill-health be brought to court on the next date of adjournment.
Ojo adjourned the case to November 7, 2022 to ensure the presence of the defendant in court.
Earlier, the Plaintiff’s Counsel, Fatima Adesina, had told the court that she heard the defendant was sick and could not come to stand his trial.
Adesina had prayed the court to take judicial note of the absence of the defendant (Adedoyin) on several occasions.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the defendants had earlier pleaded not guilty to the 11-count charge on conspiracy, murder, attempted felony, unlawful interference with a dead body, altering and intent to destroy evidence.
The case file number HOS/5C/2022, dated February 14, 2022 and filed on February 17, 2022 had earlier been substituted with HOS/5C/ 2022, dated February 22, 2022 and filed on March 2, 2022.